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  • jamieannnewhouse

How I designed my very own custom wedding dress

Finding the perfect wedding dress is the dream of every bride. But when it comes to shopping for one, there is enormous pressure at each bridal boutique to have that "say yes" moment. The cute sign, the bottle of champagne, maybe even a discount if you put money down today. But what if this isn't the one? That was something I simply couldn't handle feeling.

Growing up I'd always known I'd have to wear a princess dress. But that vision changed and shaped over the years as I got older. I started a successful career in design and had a Pinterest board full of inspiration from years on end. When it came time to find the dress searching through boutiques came back unsuccessful. I knew I had to change my strategy to find exactly what I wanted. Every bridal boutique I went to was happy to make changes to the dresses I tried on like adding full-length sleeves or changing fabrics and even color. However, none of them mentioned custom dresses and I was afraid of the price tag to even ask. But what if I came in with a clear direction?

After trying on multiple dresses and looking in to modifications that could be made, I went to the Pinterest board. I started to find elements of things I wanted from different dresses I'd seen over the years. The elements I found most interesting were counter opposites like a long sleeve lace gown incase the October breeze picked up (and don't forget the massive train). But also simple, elegant, and easy to move in on the dance floor. It turns out, what I was looking for was a two part dress. Some thing with long sleeves and lace for the ceremony, but removable and covered in sparkles for the reception. Oh, and did I mention some pink tulle?

The sketch was something to give direction to someone out there who could create this two-piece dress for me. A lot of what I wanted from this dress existed in many dresses I tried on. And super sparkly wedding dresses were becoming easier to find. I went to one of my favorite bridal shops, Wedding Dreams, located in my hometown of West Springfield, Ma and showed them my sketch. They decided to show it to one of their European designers they had a good relationship with. The next thing I knew, everyone was on board with the project, just one caveat, it was going to take 6 months to create over in Europe. That meant I really wouldn't see it until the day it arrived in their boutique.

Six months later and I got a call that the dress had arrived! I hadn't seen any progress photos but I was super excited to go see the dress for the first time in person.

And the dress of my dreams arrived! It was such an amazing experience to see something I had thought about so passionately for a long time come to life. I will never forget wearing that dress and taking the top layer off and dancing the night away. The base layer dress was without a train so I didn't have to worry about a bustle.

The greatest lesson I learned here was to not settle for a dress based off the pressures I felt from anyone. This is too important of a day to risk wearing something I never really wanted. Having a clear picture and direction means anything is possible!

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